The UN Vesak day celebrations will be held in Sri Lanka for the first time from 12th to 14th May while the academic conference will be held on 13th May.
PM Modi will participate as the Chief Guest at the inauguration ceremony at BMICH, Colombo while Nepal President Bhidya Devi Bhandari will participate as the Chief Guest at the Closing ceremony at the Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy.
On the 12th the program will include the welcome address delivered by the minister of Buddhasasana and the chairperson of the organizing committee Wijedasa Rajapakse, recital of the five precepts, speeches by the chief prelates of Sri Lanka, address by the most ven. Prof Brahmapandit , President of the International Council for the day of Vesak, Messages by heads of states, speeches by prime minister RanilWickremesinghe, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, speech by President Maithripala Sirisena as well as a documentary film on the Buddhist history of Sri Lanka.
As in UN vesak day conferences of the past the Colombo conference theme is “Buddhist teachings for Social Justice and Sustainable Peace”. The reason for selecting this theme is because there is much in the teachings of the Buddha that directly bears on promoting justice, peace and wellbeing both internally and externally. The wealth of knowledge and experience found in Buddhism will be immensely helpful to create a world where justice and peace will prevail while well being and happiness are abundant.
The conference will focus on the themes of social and natural justice in the Buddhist perspective, Inter religious understanding of common future for the human kind, Buddhist forum for economics and promotion of cultural tourism and the International Buddhist media network.
The second day will include panel discussions, documentary film, as well as presentation of panel reports.
On 14th May the delegates will be taken to Kandy by a chartered train to pay homage to the sacred tooth relic while the delegates will be able to enjoy a cultural procession organized by the Dalada Maligawa as well.